August 28 is the day when Marco Island registered voters will go to the polls and determine their desired level of emergency medical care.
Specifically, the question is:
Do you want to take control of your destiny by having your own Marco Island Fire Rescue Ambulance?
Or, do you want to continue writing checks to Collier County and hope they give us the desired level of emergency medical care commensurate to our tax contribution?
Seems like a simple question, however the waters are clouded because county officials do not want to relinquish their authority over to Marco Island. We are at the County’s mercy as to when and how many ambulances are on the island.
Collier County has the right to remove all ambulances from our island, which they did during Hurricane Irma.
The County fears losing our tax dollars as well as the $1 Million in Marco Island transport fees, which they receive above and beyond the tax revenue.
Yes, we will have to hire 12 more paramedics. That’s the GOOD news! Currently we are renting an ambulance and paying for County paramedics. For virtually the same cost, we could be paying for our own equally trained paramedics and maintain control over enhanced medical service, long term planning and revenues.
Make sure your voice is heard on August 28th. If you’re not going to be around, call 239-252-VOTE to request a mail in ballot. Your life might depend on how you vote on this referendum.
Raymond R. Seward